Game Mechanic For Hire

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Dexterity, 9.9.09

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Dexterity is typically associated with:  a)  sports, b)  video games, c)  being a fan of mass murder and d)  STR & CON.  When it comes to board games, though, dexterity ususally brings to mind games such as Jenga, Barrel of Monkeys, Crokinole and the like.  However, with titles like Cornerstone where elements of strategy are mixed in (building a tower for little doods to climb), we may start seeing more strategy to put our steady hands to.  Things like…

-Skill Shot Randomization.  Players flick a disc along a ‘randomizer’ board to determine various effects.  Take a game where the players are gods and the weather needs to be determined for each round.  You could just make it a card draw, die roll, etc., but why not give the players a chance to play planetary Crokinole?  A disc that represents the Sun is placed on the edge of a modular ‘Weather Board’ and players flick it toward a weather type they may want next round.  A shot that falls off the board counts as the last weather the disc touched before falling off.  This could be applied to just about anything that needed randomization that wouldn’t suffer overmuch from players sort of being able to control the outcome.  Stock price changes?  Check.  Warp Drive malfunction result?  Check.  Combat?  You would be better going with…

-Skill Shot Combat.  Taktika is the game that currently best does this.  Each unit is represented by a disc that must follow different rules to kill an opposing unit.  Infantry must ricochet off another infantry before hitting its target,  archers must get close to their target without touching it and cavalry is all about knocking the opposing piece out of play.  It’s essentially a light wargame meets Crokinole.  What if different weapons were represented by different disc sizes?  Units themselves could be about 3 CM, an arrow may be a disc that is about 2 CM, whereas a catapult payload could be upwards of 5 CM.  And why do the units and such need to be discs?  Sure discs glide fine, but so do cubes, meeples and so forth.  If weapons were represented by cubes, whichever face ends pointing up could confer some sort of effect; extra damage, free move, etc.

-Stacking.  Players build different structures out of cubes and discs on the board for different effects.  For example, building a pyramid out of cubes is reasonably easy and would hav a more nominal effect than say, a hollow tower.  Effects would depend on the game, but could be anything from combat bonuses for towers to more actions for a monolith.

With breakthroughs in concept like Taktika and Cornerstone, game designers should think twice before dismissing dexterity as a mechanic in games.  Now if only my hands weren’t so shaky…

Keep on designing, yo!



Written by krinklechip

September 9, 2009 at 9:43 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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